The Witness of Suffering

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…”I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour — his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear — is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle — victorious.”  Vince Lombardi


Isn’t this the truth?  If you have prayed to end abortion on the busy city sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood, you can probably relate.  If you have rearranged your schedule, fought the traffic and downtown parking hassles, endured harassment from passersby, to stand as a witness to the sanctity of human life at our 40 Days for Life vigil…you understand.

No one said ending abortion would be easy.

When defending human life, pro-lifers will often compare abortion to slavery.  Just as it was a tragic mistake that our nation once legalized slavery…so is it a tragedy that abortion was legalized 45 years ago.  The battle to end slavery came at a great cost.  The Civil War was one of the most brutal wars in our history, and involved unimaginable suffering.  Should we expect that ending abortion will be any easier?

It seems simple to us.  A no-brainer, really.  We have all seen the beautiful photos of babies in the womb…and we have all seen the heart-breaking photos of babies who have been killed by abortion. How can anyone really think this is okay?

Yet the other side is unmoved by our rational or scientific reasoning.  They seem to be angered by our pleas for compassion and mercy towards the unborn child.  The verse that comes to my mind is, “If your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.  If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matt. 6)  They just can’t SEE!  They have been spiritually blinded, and no amount of reasoning is going to change their minds.  Just think about the fact that the Senate refused to pass the Pain Capable Act this past week.  They actually think that killing babies during late term abortions…when the babies can feel excruciating pain…is a GOOD thing!

It can be frustrating, exhausting…and we can be tempted to give up.  That is why I have chosen to make PERSEVERANCE the theme of these 40 days.  For the past 8 years, through fifteen 40 days for Life vigils…we have HOPED, we have TRUSTED and we have begged for God’s MERCY.  We have suffered, struggled, supported each other, prayed, and pleaded for God to end abortion.  Yet it continues.  So, now is the time to PERSEVERE.

How do we change the hearts and minds of the pro-abortion culture? Another quote gives us the answer, “Ultimately, in the battle against lies and violence, truth and love have no other weapon than the witness of suffering.” Pope Benedict XVI, from his book, “Jesus of Nazareth Part 2”, (emphasis added)

God is the ONLY ONE who can change hearts and minds.  He can use US...through our witness on the sidewalk.  Through our patient and loving responses to those who disagree, and even hate us.  He can use us.  BUT WE HAVE TO SHOW UP!

When we SHOW UP to PRAY on that freezing cold sidewalk…we are showing God and the world just exactly WHERE we place our trust.  It is not in political debate or arguments…it is in loving prayer and sacrifice. We show our faith in God’s love by our willingness to SUFFER for love of HIM, and for all those who do not yet know that love.

Will you suffer with us during these 40 days?  God can use YOU…yes, you.  He can take your tiny little sacrifice…those few hours that you suffer in the cold and pray…and he can use it to save someone’s life from abortion.  Maybe that little someone will grow up to do something amazing some day…or maybe that someone will be the great-great grandmother of someone who does something extraordinary.  You will have played your part in God’s plan.

Imagine how you will feel…as you lie exhausted, on the field of battle…victorious.

Please join us!  Go to  http://40daysforlifepittsburgh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Click-here-to-view-schedule-of-participating-churches-for-Lent-2018-campaign-54.pdf   to see how the vigil schedule is shaping up, and then email me at nbruni@40daysforlifepgh.com to sign up for an empty time slot.

Your grateful sister in Christ,

Nikki

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